batman_the_killing_joke_first_print_coverLast week, in Batgirl #49 – a comic with an apparent target demographic of Millennials – writer Cameron Stewart and artist Babs Tarr told a story that could be seen as retconning the events of Alan Moore’s and Brian Bolland’s 1988 one-shot, Batman: The Killing Joke.In the wake of that story, Stewart argued that his story could be seen as a retconning of The Killing Joke, or not, depending on how you interpret the story… as if the plot of a story that is intertwined in almost 30 years of DC history and countless dozens of titles and stories could be considered subjective to “your own personal truth.”

During that same week, another comics podcast – one hosted by Millennials – that we greatly respect did an episode calling The Killing Joke problematic due to its treatment of Barbara Gordon, and arguably overrated and unnecessary.

These attitudes toward The Killing Joke are somewhat understandable, given the concept of “women in refrigerators” that arose in comics fandom in 1999, and the fact that Moore chose to have Joker sexually assault Barbara Gordon in the story. Because of these elements, it’s easy to dismiss the story as dated and problematic… especially if you weren’t alive and actively reading comics in 1988.

Which we were. Which means that we remember that Barbara Gordon wasn’t Batgirl at the time of The Killing Joke. And that The Joker wasn’t really defined as a character at all after Crisis On Infinite Earths until The Killing Joke. And that comics fandom was, at the time, strongly against even Robin, let alone any character from the 1966 Batman television show.

So we decided to, at least up to a point, defend The Killing Joke. Not just from a historical standpoint, but from one of story, questioning whether Barbara was, in fact, fridged in the classic sense… while still agreeing that the sexual assault aspect of the story is completely unnecessary, and asking once question we’ve never seen asked: why didn’t Moore just have Joker kill Barbara?

We also discuss:

  • Escape From New York #15, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Maxim Simic, and
  • Doctor Strange #6, written by Jason Aaron with art by Chris Bachalo!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warning ahead of time, be aware that we’re going to ruin the ending of a story written 28 years ago that has been referenced in literally hundreds of comic books since then.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your significant other to learn why Alan Moore could have sold a million photocopies of his butt in 1988, get some headphones.
Play

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Share

jessica_jones_netflixYes, we are back. And yes, it has been a long time. Thanks to the horrors of moving, which include misplaced boxes, emergency repairs, rescheduled workmen, and the Fickle Fingering of XFinity, we are only just now able to return to the Internet Airwaves. Thankfully, it was just in time to binge-watch Netflix’s and Marvel Studios’ Jessica Jones, which dropped its entire first season this past Friday.

So we discuss the series, including how, like with Daredevil, it seems about three episodes too long. We talk about how the series compares to Alias, the Brian Michael Bendis-written comic book the series was based on. And we go over how the story works not only as a classic film noir where the femme fatale is actually the hero, and how it can be seen as a tacit examination and deconstruction of Doctor Who.

We also discuss:

  • Secret Six #8, written by Gail SImone with art by Dale Eaglesham and Tom Derenick, and:
  • Star Wars: Vader Down #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by Mike Deodato, Jr.!

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like discovering why “Comcast” is an unholy word.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just go into this assuming that we will ruin not only Jessica Jones for you, but also 666 Park Avenue and diaper fetishism.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to hear a sentence that contains the phrases, “railed,” “in the,” and “heat pump?” Get yourself some headphones.
Play

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Share

flash_arrow_crossoverWell, New York Comic Con was this week… and we were not at it. And what with the impending Home Office move, we were too busy to follow nearly as much of it as we would have liked. But still, we open the episode gamely trying like hell to round up some of the news and announcements from the convention… before realizing that there is one activity that no amount of bad scheduling or work commitments or lack of funds can keep us from experiencing: television.

This week gave us the debuts of the new seasons of The Flash and Arrow on The CW (or, as Rob continues to insist upon calling it, The DCW). And these debuts brought some interesting new angles to old familiar characters, like Arrow trying to find love, and The Flash trying to nuke a guy to death. So we discuss the episodes, some of the changes that seem to be in store for the characters in the coming season, who we think will die, who we think will receive either a power ring or villain helmet… and most importantly, how Arrow and The Flash seem willing to take standard superhero story tropes and turn them delightfully on their heads.

We also discuss:

  • Dr. Strange #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by Chris Bachalo, and:
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #1, main story written by Dan Slott with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like a discussion about how the best Inhumans movie would feature Lockjaw, a green screen, and piddling on a baby.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be warned that you will learn whether or not we were serious about The Flash nuking a dude to death.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Do you want your employer hearing about the surgical alternative to Method Acting? You do not. Listen with headphones.
Play

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Share

game_of_thrones_logoWe have a special guest this week: John Keating, a former Boston comedian who now lives in Los Angeles, working as an actor, who has a couple of geek-related projects in the works. He plays a primary character in the independent movie The Concessionaires Must Die!, a film about a bunch of genre geeks who work at a movie theater that’s about to close down, and which features a cameo by Stan Lee (playing someone other than Stan Lee for a change!). John’s also voice acting in a cartoon called Gen Zed, about a group of videogamers living together in a house, starring the first transgender voice actress in a lead role. So we spend some time talking about indie film production, the unique way that the directors and producers of The Concessionaires Must Die! got some early buzz and interest in the flick, and some of the basic ins and outs of voice acting in an animated show!

But John isn’t just an actor, he’s a longtime fellow geek with a huge interest in Game of Thrones. So we spend a lot of time talking about the fifth season of the HBO show, including our favorite and least favorite moments and storylines (hi, Sand Snakes!), some of the greater themes put forth in the season (like the effects of blind faith, and the perils of governing when you misunderstand your subjects), and whether the levels of violence and terror in some parts of the season were justified by the story and characters. And you know which parts we’re talking about.

We also discuss:

  • Mad Max Fury Road: Furiosa #1, written by George Miller, Nico Lathouris and Mark Sexton, with art by Sexton, Tristan Jones and Szymon Kudranski, and:
  • Thors #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by Chris Sprouse!

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing (although a couple of parts were cut to eliminate old inside jokes you wouldn’t understand, and to protect our secret identity). While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning the perils of Al Goldstein’s film festival.
  • This show contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen Game of Thrones fifth season, be forewarned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to hear the name of Al Goldstein’s film festival, get yourself some headphones.

And to get a sense of John’s current projects, here are the trailers for The Concessionaires Must Die!, and Gen Zed!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Play
Share

secret_service_1_mark_hamillSince we in Boston are staring down the barrel of another blizzard, we decided to get out of the Home Office while we could to catch a movie: Kingsman: The Secret Service, the new movie based on Mark Millar’s and Dave Gibbons’s 2012 comic The Secret Service.

While Rob in particular didn’t like The Secret Service as it was being released in comic form, we took the movie as an opportunity to reread the original series as a complete work, and we talk about some plot and thematic differences between the comic and movie, as well as what worked about the movie… and what didn’t work. (Important safety tip: if Samuel L. Jackson tells you, with a lisp, that in order to save the world he needs to put an explosive chip in your neck? Call your lawyer and tell him to ask Sam for his business plan first.)

We also discuss:

  • Star Wars: Darth Vader #1, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Salvatore Larroca, and:
  • Southern Bastards #7, written by Jason Aaron with art by Jason Latour!

And now the usual disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While that might mean a looser comics podcast than you might be used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like the discovery that many English foods sound like euphemisms for perverse locker room hazing (hi, Toad In The Hole!).
  • The show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, if you intend to see Kingsman: The Secret Service, you should consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Do you want to explain to your boss why chugging a Toad In The Hole isn’t a matter for the police? Get some headphones.
Play

Enjoy the show, suckers!

Share

holy_fck_1_coverPicture, if you will, a comic book about a world where old gods hide in the shadows. They have amassed monetary wealth and earthly power, and they plan to use it to force humanity to worship them again… by fomenting Armageddon on Earth, and then saving the last surviving dregs of humanity, who will worship the Old Ones while envying the dead. A world where the only one who can save us is a simple nun. Oh, yeah: and Jesus. Who rides a Harley. And carries a machine gun. And enjoys the use of stimulants and prostitutes. Oh, and I forgot: Satan’s there, too. And he and Jesus have a history. In the Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel sense of the word.

Sound like a fun comic? Well, it actually exists, and this week, we’re excited to have as our special guests: Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa, the co-creators of Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint’s newest comic: Holy F*ck!

Nick and Daniel spent a little time with us to talk about the book, its origins, how they came to collaborate on the book, how it found a home at Action Lab, and what you can expect from this story of Jesus and Satan against the old gods (hint: there are no helicopters). We also extensively discuss the use of specialty hairpieces in the pursuit of comics work. It’s a damn fun interview.

In addition, Amanda and I talk about:

  • Dan DiDio’s ongoing series of Facebook posts recapping his 13-year history at DC Comics,
  • Star Wars #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by John Cassaday, and:
  • Constantine #21, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Jeremy Haun!

And the obligatory disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape (although we recorded our interview with Nick and Daniel separately, and then cut it into the remainder of the show). As such, it might be a little looser than other comics podcasts you are used to, but it also means that anything can happen. Like a detailed description of Zeus’s man-nipples.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout warnings ahead of time, just assume we’re going to ruin every ending you ever cared about.
  • This show contains adult, profane languange, and is therefore not safe for work. We interview guys who created a book called Holy F*ck, guys; unless you want your boss to hear a discussion about Jesus’s and Satan’s special relationship, get some headphones.

A few other things we want to point out:

Nick and Daniel did a few short comics about what Jesus has been up to between Good Friday and Holy F*ck, if you want to get a taste of the book:

The first two issues are available at Comixology, and:

While we were talking, Nick put together and sent us a drawing that is relevant to our discussion, the comic and the title of this show:

clownmerkin

Play

Enjoy the show, suckers!

Share
Hi, my name is Lobo!  I enjoy vegan cuisine, fitness, and long walks on the beach.  I'm looking for someone who shares my affinity for sword collecting and leather clubs.  Could you be my special someone?

Hi, my name is Lobo! I enjoy vegan cuisine, fitness, and long walks on the beach. I’m looking for someone who shares my affinity for sword collecting and leather clubs. Could you be my special someone?

With the cancellation of Vortexx on the CW network, this is the first weekend that has had no Saturday morning cartoons on a major television network. And given that seeing superheroes on TV was a large part of what got Amanda and I into comics in the 1970s, we spend some time reminiscing about our favorite cartoons (as well as live action superheroics like The Adventures of Superman and Shazam!), and digging into how modern kids might find comic books. You know, other than billion-dollar Marvel Studios movies.

It is also a week where several comic characters have new faces behind classic costumes. So we talk about them all:

  • Lobo #1, written by Cullen Bunn with pencils by Reilly Brown,
  • Captain America #25, written by Rick Remender with art by Carlos Pacheco and Stuart Immonen, and
  • Thor #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by Russell Dautermann!

And now the legalese:

  • We record this episode live to tape. While this might mean a looser show than other comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning about a child named Vlad who apparently lives under the bed.
  • We spoil a lot of stuff on this show. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, consider yourself warned.
  • We use adult, profane language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. If you don’t have any headphones, ask Lobo. Based on what happened to him in this week’s issue, he’s not using them.
Play

Enjoy the show, suckers!

Share

miracleman_annual_1_coverThere are two types of people in this world: superhero comic fans who love Miracleman by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, and superhero comic fans who haven’t read all of it yet. Rob is in column A, and Amanda is in column B. Which means that they had very different reactions upon hearing that Marvel has announced that they will be publishing a Miracleman annual, with stories by Grant Morrison and Peter Milligan. This announcement begs the question: should new creators be allowed to jump into a story like Miracleman, which is a combined yet singular vision between two epic creators? And being two different types of people, Amanda and Rob have differing views on the announcement.

But there is more to comics than a couple of new short stories tacked onto a 30-year-old narrative. So Amanda and Rob also discuss:

  • The Death of Wolverine #1, written by Charles Soule with pencils by Steve McNiven,
  • Original Sin #8, written by Jason Aaron with art by Mike Deodato and
  • Big Trouble In Little China #4, written by Eric Powell and drawn by Brian Churilla!

And now the legalese:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a slightly looser show than your normal comics podcast, it also means that anything can happen.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to throw out a verbal warning before we cut loose, consider this fair warning.
  • Amanda and Rob use adult, explicit language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. The janitors portrayed in Miracleman had Walkman headphones for work, and that was 1984. What’s your excuse?
Play

Enjoy the show, suckers!

Share

sdcc_2010_pimp_fettSince we are less than 36 hours away from leaving for San Diego Comic-Con 2014, and therefore are fully engaged in preparing for the trip, we are a little fried today. So this is a shorter than usual episode (not the end of the world, considering we plan to podcast direct from the convention at least a couple of times), but a full one, where Amanda and I discuss:

  • The changes of Thor to a woman and Captain America to Sam Wilson that were announced on TV this week (if only there were a major convention to make these kinds of announcements!),
  • Since Amanda and I have attended nine straight San Diego Comic-Cons, we share a few tips on how to survive the whole experience (and avoid an extinction level digestive event), and:
  • Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International / San Diego #1, by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and a bunch of guest artists!

And now the legally-required disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape. This means there might be a few more pregnant pauses than you are used to in a comics podcast, but it also means that anything can happen.
  • There are spoilers in this show. We try to warn you ahead of time, but if you don’t know the kind of treatment you’ll get at a place called “Dick’s Last Resort,” you might deserve what you get.
  • This show contains adult, explicit language, and is not safe for work. I bought earbuds at a gas station for $12 today. What’s your excuse?
Play

Enjoy the show, suckers! And don’t forget to tune in for episodes live(ish) from SDCC later this week!

Share

walking_dead_dead_insideThis 4th of July weekend, we got sucked into the AMC marathon of The Walking Dead, and were surprised how binge-watching the whole thing from the beginning changed our opinion of the show. So we talked about that extensively, along with:

  • The NBC Constantine pilot leaked to the Internet this week. Amanda and I saw it, and have some fairly strong opinions as to what worked (Matt Ryan as John Constantine) and what didn’t (writing, pacing, too much exposition, not enough mystery, no local flavor, and some other stuff),
  • Original Sin #5, written by Jason Aaron with art by Mike Deodato, and:
  • Rocket Raccoon #1, written and drawn by Skottie Young!

And now, the legalese:

  • We record the show live to tape. That means a few stuttered words more than you’re used to in a comics / genre culture podcast, but it also means that anything can happen.
  • The show contains spoilers. Some weeks it’s a few, some it’s a lot. This is one of the latter. Be forewarned.
  • Amanda and I use explicit, adult language, so this podcast is not safe for work. Unless your boss likes phrases like, “Preemptive dribble of patriotism,” wear headphones.
Play

Enjoy the show, suckers!

Share